(HWAY) Gallup-Healthways Report Well-Being

Healthways (HWAY), the well-being enhancement company, and statistical research services provider Gallup recently announced the results of the monthly Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (“WBI”) for August 2011. The overarching WBI measure remained on the higher side at 66.1.

The results in August marked for the first time that obesity scores, on a year-over-year basis, have dropped since the metric was introduced in 2008. The obesity measurement stood at 25.9% in August, thereby demonstrating a gradual decline in national obesity with the passage of 2011.

Among the WBI sub-components, the Work Environment Index, which has not surpassed 49 since September 2009, continued to languish at 47.1. This was its third-lowest performance since the launch of the WBI.

The Life Evaluation Index declined to 47.6 in the reported month, its worst performance since July 2009. Only 51.5% of Americans stated that they were thriving, which is a low point since August 2009. Only 4% said they were suffering, which is considered the highest after the 5.1% recorded in March 2009.

With regard to the Physical Health Index, the proportion of participants, who stated that they were adequately rested on the previous day, dropped almost 200 basis points (bps) to 69% in August. This was the nadir reached over the course of the prior 12 months. The overall measure continued to roost at 77.3 in August.

The Basic Access Index of 81.9 almost reached its previous low, as 4.1 million fewer grown-ups reportedly lacked convenient access to fresh produce vis-à-vis the year-ago period. The proportion of Americans, who met their dentist in the prior 12 months touched bottom at 63.9% in May, and recovered somewhat to 65.4% in August. The percentage of participants with health insurance spiked 83.2% in the month, higher by 120 bps on a sequential basis. Respondents with a personal doctor moved up 100 bps to 78.8% in August.

Finally, the Emotional Health Index declined 100 bps to 78.4, thereby taking analysts by surprise. The proportion of Americans reporting that they were free from stress, a large part of the day yesterday, declined to only 58.5% in August, thereby reaching its lowest level since February 2009.

Healthways is a prominent vendor of specialized and composite solutions, enabling recipients to maintain or improve their well-being, while consequently reducing systemic healthcare costs. The company’s solutions are intended to keep people healthy and mitigate lifestyle risk factors that can cause disease and optimize care for those with chronic illness. Healthways competes with Express Scripts (ESRX) among others.

Gallup is known for providing timely and pertinent research on opinion. The company employs scientists in disciplines, such as economics, sociology, management and psychology. Its consultants identify and monitor behavioral economic indicators on a worldwide basis, thereby enabling companies to increase organic growth.

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